Introduction to Intellectual Disability
When teaching students there will be issues that will arise, whether it is teaching general education or special education students. The difference is with the students in special education and the many ways this matter must be approached. Within the rights of the student with special needs, there are laws, terminology and classifications among others that explain the needs of the student and the importance of their education. Issues related to terminology, laws and classification The general education teacher that was interviewed was a third grade teacher, Ms.
Odum. She explained that the issues she faced with her students with ID in her class were the amount of time she had and the resources available to teach them with. She mentioned the terminology and law could be difficult to follow at first because of so many stipulations and being careful not to offend anyone. One issue she has in the identification of students with intellectual disabilities is that it can be difficult to teach when the student is in her room for only a short period of time during the day, usually for one lesson.
Introduction to Intellectual Disability Essay Example
In order for her to address the needs of the student she must keep in mind of the proper terms to use and privacy in a way to where they can recruit help from other students. The special education teacher, Mrs. Hemingway, stated the issues relating to terminology, law and identification would be the tests given to determine whether or not the student qualifies to be in the special needs class. In order for the student to qualify for the needs of special education there must be a 22 point difference in their IQ and the performance in a given area.
If that difference is there then the child qualifies for special education. They may not need to be there all day but there is the need for the help when they get to that subject in the classroom. Issues surrounding definition and classification of students with ID Ms. Odum stated that all students have strengths and weaknesses and it is up to her and the special education teacher to recognize the needs of the child. There will be a time when the student will be successful in one area and not in another.
The child’s disability does not define who they are, only how they learn and think. Ms. Odum also mentioned that she has had students with mental retardation that have been low functioning and some have been high functioning which made it harder for students to learn in higher grades. Mrs. Hemingway sees classification of students with intellectual disabilities as not being labeled as unintelligent or “dumb” because they learn differently.
When they must be put in a lower grade level to be able to understand the material, this is in the best interest of the student. Since Hemingway does only teach in elementary school she does not know how it is in the higher grades. Impact characteristics have on learning, social attitudes and curricular needs Odum stated that in her class, learning has been affected by altering her assignments like giving students with intellectual disabilities half of the assignment and doing more work in the classroom where there is plenty of help.
In her class Odum has witnessed her students become helpful towards their peers with disabilities. There was one student in particular that she mentioned was a student that always helped the student with the disability. If the student with special needs needed help with reading or cutting for example, that student was always there. They just got up and helped when they noticed help was needed. Odum was amazed with how helpful and selfless this student was. Hemingway stated that the impact on social attitudes and learning were the same with her.
She knew that her students needed more time to learn and sometimes due to their disabilities they were misunderstood. Some people that did not know the student would think that the student was a troublemaker or lazy because in a general education classroom they do not do the class work. In reality they do not understand the material and do not want to try anymore. The curricula in her room is to teach to their level of learning which sometimes was an issue in Ms. Odum’s class because of the lack of resources and materials available in the classroom.
Most of the thoughts from both teachers were along the same lines but had different circumstances because of their positions in the school. They are both working together for the betterment of the student, just in different ways. Ms. Odum has students with ID in her class but not for the whole day. She must adjust her teaching strategies to their needs, making it easier for them to understand the subject but may take longer to teach the material to the rest of the class. Mrs.
Hemingway must also adjust teaching strategies but she is able to work with the student more one on one and get more defined results because there is just one student and one teacher. Like Mrs. Hemingway mentioned earlier, some students may be strong in one area and weak in another. I think when the student goes to the general education classroom they should be working on the strengths and let the special education teacher fine tune the weaknesses and then let the other teacher know where to go and what to do from there.
I learned a lot from these two teachers and how they work with students with intellectual disabilities in their specific settings. I learned there is only so much a general education teacher can do for students with disabilities, especially when resources are not available. I know that having a student with disabilities in my classroom can and will be difficult at times but would be a very rewarding experience for me as well. I would like to say Thanks to the Ms. Odum and Mrs. Hemingway at Franklin Elementary School for allowing me to speak with them.